Hampshire Cricket History

Teach the Teachers
May 21, 2016, 6:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


Brian Greening sent this by email and said:

“I date it as around 1960/65 and is I believe a group of Isle of Wight school teachers who may have played a low level match against a group of Hampshire cricketers.  I am told sitting centrally is Desmond Eager and the teacher kneeling far left was apparently a great friend of Sir James Milne who did so much for the sport on the Isle of Wight.  I hope you may be able to throw some light on it and at the very least find it interesting.”

I certainly do! Lovely – and he’s quite right about Desmond who used to travel the county with the Coach Arthur Holt helping to develop coaches and improve the quality of schools and youth cricket. Arthur is standing far left and it’s just possible that half-hidden behind him is ‘Lofty’ Herman but I’m not sure. I am however absolutely sure that the two men in Hampshire sweaters seated next to Desmond are Neville Rogers and Leo Harrison. There is another man in the back row wearing what could be a Hampshire sweater but he does not look familiar. I suspect that rather than a match, this is an indoor coaching session – teaching the teachers to teach the ‘kids’.

I don’t think Brian is quite right about the date. This is based partly on the clothes, hairstyles etc but rather more because Neville in particular retired at the end of the 1955 season and went straight into alternative employment so I don’t think he would have been so likely to be recruited by Desmond from his professional staff.

I’d love to know more. If it is 1954 or 1955 then 20 years later I spent a summer teaching art at Cowes High School and we had a staff team that toured the IOW playing other school staff sides in evening games. Colts and school cricket has been strong on the IOW for some years and has led to a number of Island cricketers being successful for Ventnor and in the professional game – Briggs and Griffiths were both in T20 action last night.


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Hi Dave…yes, interesting photograph. My thoughts: probably mid to late 1950s; Desmond, Arthur, Neville and Leo but not Lofty Herman. The young man in back row has a likeness to Mervyn Burden (but I think not) and the colour band on his sweater is not as pointed at the apex on the V as the Hampshire player’s sweaters. Nearly all the teachers are wearing ties and plimsolls (?);Arthur Holt often wore crepe soled suede shoes.
I hope you discover the date and the location. Probably no indoor nets on IOW in that era so maybe a school gym and coaching in the style of of a photo taken at Lilleshall in 1957. Do you have such a photo? If not I will endeavour to send you a copy.

Good luck, Punchy.

Comment by Alan Rayment

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